Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
144 registered (accordeur, Albunea, Alexander Borro, A Guy, Andrei Kuznetsov, ajames, 34 invisible), 1607 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#935298 - 09/14/05 04:24 AM Teaching seniors
Rob C Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
My piano knowledge is as a performer 40 years ago, but at the beginning of this year I was "co-opted" into teaching piano at the local University of the 3rd Age. My youngest, and best pupil, is mid 60's and about Grade 4 level. My oldest is 83 and hasn't touched a piano since she was 12. I have a couple of almost beginners, and a couple of about Grade 2.

I have not had any piano teaching training, and, of course, was taught myself when young and being taught when young is so different from dealing with adults, and senior adults at that.

At the beginning I was worried about keeping their interest and I avoided getting them to formally learn scales, or formally to learn theory. I also did not expect them to memorise as I thought most would be too old.

I have found that this was a mistake. They are happy to learn scales and some elementary theory. They also try to memorise. I am now encouraging this as an aid to keeping them mentally active.

I also have designed some exercises to stretch arthritic hands.

I have just discovered this forum and hope that some teachers can help me.

Have other members had to teach "beginners" over 60 years old?

Do you have any tips? Also, any exercises to stretch hands would be appreciated.

Finally, I enjoy the challenge, but I am having to go back to fundamentals myself, to dust off my very rusty theory and to stay one ahead in sight reading.

Any help will be appreciated, not only by me but by my pupils.

Many thanks
Rob C

(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#935299 - 09/14/05 01:39 PM Re: Teaching seniors
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
This sounds just great, idyllic and inspiring
even. Why change anything from what you're
doing?--sounds like you're doing everything
right. (The phrase "to stretch arthritic
hands" sounds a bit unfeeling, however;
and furthermore I don't think you can really
do this without essentially torturing
the poor folks.)

#935300 - 09/30/05 09:32 PM Re: Teaching seniors
syzygy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 4
Loc: Charlottesville va
Hi Rob,

Your comments seem just a bit condescending (hope I`m wrong) - Maybe you are stereotyping a bit.

I`m 80, just started piano - played jazz horn for 65 years or so - piano is going great. Playing the whole smear by ear after years of one noting it on horn. I find it easier to improvise on piano than horn.

Also placed 8 in nation in my group in National Racquetball Olympics which is not too shabby..

My point - 60 isn`t old anymore and 80 is not that old if one is in reasonably good health.

Glad you are enjoying your "seniors" - read "experienced, mature adults".

Be glad they are demonstrating to you what you will be able to do if you are lucky enough to reach their age ! LOL
Appropriate silences help create beautiful music.

#935301 - 09/30/05 10:17 PM Re: Teaching seniors
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17948
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I often have what we euphemistically call "nontraditional students" in my classroom. They are by far my favorite students, for the simple reason that they are in my class solely because they are interested in and want to learn the material...as opposed to the vast majority of my students who are there because (a) they need a college degree to get a high paying job, or (b) their parents want them to go to college.

I expect that's similar to your situation. There are a lot of kids (most of them?) who take piano lessons mainly under duress. Those seniors of yours are taking it because they love the challenge of learning something new. They also have the luxury of more practice time than most other students.

As for their hands, I suspect a good pain reliever prior to lessons or practicing would work better than stretching. Or maybe running their hands under warm water to loosen them up.

Good for you for taking them on! And good for them!! I hope I'm still playing when I'm 80.
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#935302 - 10/01/05 07:57 PM Re: Teaching seniors
Scoot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 124
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Well Rob-
I wished you lived in Dallas! Your posting shows you really are interested in your students; and that's great no matter what the class looks like.

And I felt so young after reading it!
Scoot(55 and trying all kinds of new stuff)

#935303 - 10/01/05 11:34 PM Re: Teaching seniors
musdan Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1211
Hi Rob,

I am 64 and started piano lessons about 4 1/2 years ago- my teacher has me playing scales, chords, and have just recently started arpeggios.

And of course Hannon exercises - I'm doing what I've always dreamed of doing and I must admit it's quite a challange. We are now working on Chopin's Waltz in a minor, have now added the pedal and Fur Elise. The pedal is tricky, if I don't think about it, it's ok, when I do either I forget to lift my foot or lift it too soon. Chopin with hiccups.

I salute you and your students - keep up the good work.

#935304 - 10/10/05 02:40 AM Re: Teaching seniors
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
I've a tendancy to arthritus which I believe is hereditary in my case. I have stuck to a flexible vegetarian diet for some 45 years, which excludes meat and dairy products, coffee etc. I do not take any medication for arthritus and never take drugs, unless forced to by a doctor.

It isn't helped by my occupation of motor engineer, which at the age of 77 I'm still at it. The State pension does not allow me to be retired and the UK is not the cheapest country in the world to live in.

I do have thumb pain and grip strength problems a bit, mostly when working in engineering but playing the piano is not painful until after I've stopped. obviously the brain is flat out trying to cope with my demands on sub-conscious recall.

So I think the only way is the diet and the activity. My fingers are still very supple and fast on repetition. And my thoughtful wife has trained my to do the dish washing (the machine is broken!)

I'm delighted to see the rather older people getting on with piano playing, so soul comforting.



Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) Yamaha CP4 or CP40 Free Bag
Buy a CP4 or CP40 Get a Free Bag
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
Ad (the Piano Store)
the Piano Store - Restored Steinway Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
High end DP review - decision made
by Chris Warren
Today at 02:53 PM
Casio Px-160 $425 + $50 e-rebate at Musiciansfriend
by Beakybird
Today at 02:28 PM
8 hands, 1 piano!
by look_alive
Today at 01:06 PM
How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More than ............
by Grandpianoman
Today at 12:58 PM
Where to buy CLP-545/575 with voltage selector
by West39th
Today at 12:02 PM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
81,564 Registered Members
44 Forums
168,607 Topics
2,470,163 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission